Mission Sundays Purpose

300 years part 9 [extracts from Sister Maire Kealy’s book From Channel Row to Cabra]
It is possible to chart the decline of the Channel Row community by comparing the numbers in the community, in the boarding school and the parlour boarders in certain years. Putting the value of the bonds held by the community alongside that information, it is easy to see how they came to be in such a sorry state at the end of the century.

1729 was a year when the nuns were well established in Dublin; in 1744 the numbers in the school were down to nine. 1756 and 1767 were years in which there were accurate figures for the number of nuns in the community and in 1792 it would seem that things had gone beyond recovery. The community was experiencing great difficulties, their financial state was grave and their numbers were falling fast.

COMPARATIVE TABLE

YEAR NUNS BOARDERS[PUPILS] PARLOUR BOARDERS  INCOME
1729 22 20 10+Servants £5080
1744 16 9 12 £3400
1756 27 18 21+Servants £6250
1767 19/20 3 6 £3600
1792 5 0
£1800 [good] NOT KNOWN £1800 [good]
£1100 [bad]

[good = money in hand; bad = money owed to nuns but the recovery of debt doubtful]

 

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

 

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Reflections on the Rosary

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.

When I saw that I had been asked to talk about the Rosary, I must confess that I had a moment of panic. I have never read about the Rosary or reflected about it ever in my life. I am sure that most of you have much more profound thoughts about the Rosary than I have. The Rosary is simply something that I have done, without thought, like breathing. Breathing is very important to me. I breathe all the time, but I have never given a talk on it. Saying the Rosary, like breathing, is so simple. So what is there to say?

Simplicity

It may seem a little strange that a prayer as simple as the Rosary should be particularly associated with Dominicans. Dominicans are not often thought of as very simple people. We have a reputation for writing long and complex books on theology. And yet, we fought to keep the Rosary ours. The General Chapter of 1574 urged the brethren to preach the Rosary. It is “nostra sacra haereditas”, “our sacred inheritance”. There is a long tradition of pictures of Our Lady giving the Rosary to St Dominic. But at one time, other religious orders grew jealous, and started commissioning paintings of Our Lady giving the Rosary to other saints, to St Francis and even to St Ignatius. But we fought back, and, I think in the seventeenth century, persuaded the Pope to ban the competition. Our Lady was only allowed to be shown giving the Rosary to Dominic! But why is this simple prayer so dear to Dominicans?

The Rosary

Perhaps it is because at the center of our theological tradition is a longing for simplicity. St Thomas Aquinas said that we cannot understand God because God is utterly simple – simple beyond all our conceptions. We study, we wrestle with theological problems, we strain our minds, but the aim is to draw near to the mystery of the One who is totally simple. We have to pass through the complexity so as to arrive at simplicity.

There is a false simplicity, which we must leave behind. It is the simplicity of those who oversimplify, who have too easy answers to everything, who know it all in advance. They are either too lazy or are incapable of thought. And there is the true simplicity, the simplicity of heart, the simplicity of the clear eye. And that we can only arrive at slowly, with God’s grace, as we draw near to God’s blinding simplicity. The Rosary is indeed simple, very simple. But it has the deep and wise simplicity for which we hunger, and in which we will find peace…

(The Identity of Religious Today – An address from the Master of the Order at Lourdes, in October 1998)

Fr. Gabriel Harty O.P.  – Luminous Rosary Mystery The Transfiguration

…When meditating on The Transfiguration of Jesus it may be helpful to look at a picture of this event or        listen to some uplifting music.

The Transfiguration is the fourth of the new Luminous Mysteries rosary and is a key event in the life of Jesus.
It beautifully complements both the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries by adding meditations on the Rosary that gave strength to the apostles during Jesus passion and were a foreshadow of Jesus’ glory that was soon to come.

As you read this retelling of the Transfiguration, keep in mind that the fruit of this mystery is a desire for holiness. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor.

When the three disciples and Jesus reached the top of the mountain, Jesus’ “face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.” Then suddenly Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elias appear. They were talking to Jesus. Peter got very excited and didn’t really understand the significance of what was happening as he called out to Jesus saying… “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

Jesus did not answer him and a bright cloud came and covered them. A booming voice came from the cloud. It was the voice of God. The words they heard were, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.” This frightened Peter, James and John. Immediately they fell prostrate. Jesus went to them, stooped down, gently touched them then said, “Arise, and fear not.”When they arose, they only saw Jesus and the apparition was over. While they were making their descent from the mountain Jesus gave them this command… “Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.” – Matthew 17:9

                                                                                                                                                                                                     ( http://www.how-to-pray-the-rosary-everyday.com/transfiguration.html)

Dominican sisters among the Rosary pilgrims in Ireland and Argentina –

L. Sr. Sabine OP with friends,  Rosary Sunday, Knock 2016        

 

R. Youth Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady                of Lujan, Argentina.

 

 

                                                                                        Let us pray the Rosary for Peace 

Channel Row expenses: basic provisions were vegetables, meat, butter, eggs. Although tea and coffee were sometimes bought, the regular drink was beer! Snuff also was customary. As well as rent and legal fees, payments were made to the smith, the ‘hucster’ woman, the basket woman, doctor, apothecary, coalman. At times, contracts were drawn up. e.g the gardener in 1728, “is to keep ye garden clean and in good order…and keep everything proper for ye kitchen in its season as ye ground will afford…if he fails…he’s to forfeit” [part of his wages]. He’s to carry all ye rubage out of ye garden and to ye garden bring in ye dung at his own cost.”

Taxation levied on Dubliners was often of a penal nature. Catholics had to pay tax for the upkeep of Protestant ministers, their clerk and church in each parish. The ministers’ money was paid to St Paul’s and St Michan’s as their buildings straddled both parishes. Besides these “Protestant” taxes, other taxes, (“cess”) included cess for workhouse and foundling, tax on the local river (“Bradoge cess”). The community paid “harth mony”, “lamp mony”, “Grand Jury cess for transporting felons”. It must have been galling for Catholics to pay the latter, who may have included relatives or friends. In later years new taxes were added for paving, pipe water, a police tax, a window tax. [to be continued in part 9]

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

Below is link to review in The Irish Times of Saturday 2nd September 2017 of Sr. Margaret MacCurtain’s book –

Ambassador Extraordinaire: Life of Daniel O’Daly 1595-1662

 

As in all Dominican communities, the Channel Row nuns were devoted to the church’s liturgy, especially the Mass and the Divine Office. These were enhanced by good music (as testified in Part 6) and an organ donated by the Bellew family. The chapel was adorned, with paintings, the altar with silver candlesticks, and silver sacred vessels were used during worship. Most of these were gifts to the community from various family members and benefactors, and have survived the vicissitudes of time -from Channel Row to Clontarf and finally to Cabra from 1819. If only they could speak of the many events of which they were part, and ‘witnessed’ during 300 years!

Aspects of the nuns’ spirituality are reflected in the books listed in the convent library. Titles included (in 1726) were various works of St Teresa [of Avila] and St Francis de Sales, Four Meditation Books, one Martiroligie, one Processionary, [the latter two refer to memorials, ceremonials and chants celebrated in the liturgy. [to be continued in Part 8]

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

The chapel in Channel Row merits attention for several reasons. At times, events that occurred there were known to the “authorities”. A 1727 document refers to a famous convent in Channel Row, “where the most celebrated Italian musicians help to make the voices of the Holy Sisters more melodious; and many Protestant Fine Gentlemen have been invited to take their places in a convenient gallery, and hear the performances.”

On other occasions, “clandestine” activities took place, which, if discovered by the priest-catchers, earned them rewards. The nuns remained undaunted. By 1744, three bishops, on different occasions, were consecrated in the chapel, unknown to the “authorities”. Less fortunate were two Dominican priests found in the convent earlier in 1744. They were arrested and imprisoned. “Paid in charity for ye prisoners” appears quite often in the convent account books. In 1745, all Catholic churches were allowed to re-open. (As mentioned previously, enactment of the Penal Laws varied depending on the political situation.)
[to be continued in part 7]

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

 

Recently, Dominican schools in Ballyfermot, Capetown, and Portstewart celebrated anniversaries, 60, 80 and 100 years, respectively. What do they have in common? They are some of the branches of the Galway Dominican family tree planted in Dublin 300 years ago. At that time, Penal laws did not permit education for Catholics. In spite of possible penalties, the Channel Row convent, in October 1719, was one of the first to open its doors to Catholic girls. Numbers increased each month for a time until it reached an average of about 20 pupils. Some remained in the school for short periods only; others stayed a year or two. The fee was £12 per annum payable in instalments.

A 1731 report noted “a nunnery in Channel Row commonly goes under the name of a boarding school.” The education was that deemed suitable for young ladies of their social status who would take their places afterwards as cultured and accomplished women. Some opted to become members of the community. The 1725 list of names shows that many of them were of the same social background as the nuns e.g. Burke, Nugent, Browne, Plunkett.

Religious Education, English, French, Music, Drawing, were taught. Later accounts also mention arithmetic, geography, history and needlework. Dancing was an optional extra, taught by a dancing master!

When the school was thriving in the mid 1740s and 1750s, for other reasons, it merited a mention in Dublin newspapers: in 1743 “a young lady died suddenly as she was at dinner”; in 1754 “some villains broke into the Nunnery and carried off several valuable goods belonging to the young ladies who board there.” [to be continued in part 6]

 

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.

Mrs Bellew’s “family”, in Channel Row, consisted of three groups of women- the nuns, girl boarders and parlour boarders. The latter were widows or single women who needed accommodation and who could afford to pay rent or, as they called it, a ‘pension. Some of the lady boarders or ‘parlour boarders’ had personal maids and so had a ‘suite’ of rooms, probably two or even three. [A further instalment of this series will elaborate.] Since penal laws still existed when the nuns came to Dublin, “they did not draw attention to themselves by wearing a religious habit. They conducted their boarding school, looked after the parlour boarders and lived their religious life in common. Their daily routine included the recitation of the Divine Office, meditation, and other prayers.” “the boarders who came to be educated were nieces of the nuns themselves or from other Anglo Norman families.” The Channel Row nuns earned the main part of their living through the boarding school fees and the parlour boarders’ pensions. They were also the recipients of donations in kind: church plate and gifts of money, usually small amounts. Before the banking system as we know it today, a system of “bonds” for the nuns’ dowries, (usually not used during their lifetime) provided income from the associated interest. At times, however, they had to borrow money from friends and family, especially when expected income was overdue. [Details from Kealy’s book] The young ladies’ education will be described in part 5

From Sr. Maris Stella McKeown, Archivist, Mission Area of Ireland

For more details, see this website link WHO WE ARE, with Drop down menu –HISTORY and BOOKS.
The drop down menu in WHAT WE DO provides insights into how and where the seed, planted in Dublin in 1717, has grown and sprouted other branches in the following three centuries.